“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”
Challenges are what drive most people to do certain things in their life to make it meaningful: Athletes climbing the highest mountains in the world, organizations building spaceships that can explore our galaxy, sportsmen striving to become the champion in their field and those are just a few examples.
The satisfaction of successfully overcoming a challenge is hard to describe with words and can be compared to very few other things.
Just like others, marketing managers have their own challenges they face, which may seem to be smaller compared to the above mentioned examples, but hey, you and I know that it’s not true.
Marketers fight for their consumers every day, striving to deliver them value with everything they do and just because it isn’t on the news channel, doesn’t mean it’s easy or not worth time and effort.
Here the top 3 challenges that marketers face today and a few tips on how to proceed with those.
Identifying the right target group
This is one of the fundamental things that every marketer has to be perfectly. And yes, it’s really hard. To really understand what your consumers need, you have to know so much about their lifestyle, habits, preferences, needs, wants, etc. You need to practically become one of them.
While we haven’t yet mastered the art of transforming into somebody else at will (sadly :/), there are a few things that you can do.
- Talk to consumers – When a client refers to you for marketing purposes, they probably already have a number of consumers. What you can do is get out there and talk to those people. Why do they prefer the given company? Are they loyal to it? Do they look for substitutes whenever they can’t get the products of that company? What would they like to see in the future? It’s very important to know your consumers’ opinion. It’s the only opinion that matters: not yours, nor your clients. If consumers don’t like it, then it’s bad. End of story.
- Trust data – It’s very hard to neglect your own emotions, feeling and beliefs at times concerning marketing strategies, but if the data tells you that something isn’t working, then it isn’t. Numbers don’t have feelings and they don’t lie. Even if it’s against your own liking, stick with analytics. Always.
- Experience – There are some situations when you face questions that nobody has answers for and yet, something has to be done, right? This is where your experience will be your best friend. When there is no enough data to rely on and no trusted source of information to use, trust your past experience. It won’t let you down.
Standing out in the sea of marketing
Another challenge that marketers face. There are so many businesses doing marketing today, that it takes nothing less than being Gandalf to stand out from the competition and grabbing attention. After all, if you don’t stand out, your chances of success are slim.
To make something great happen, practically means taking risks. If you want to stand out with your marketing endeavors, you will have to accept the fact that risk taking will be necessary. I am not suggesting to jump into the wildest initiatives that you encounter however. It might just lead you to ruin.
What I am talking about are calculated risks. A calculated risk is basically a risk that has a solid chance of success, which is larger than the negative outcome. The more calculated the risk, the more chances for success you will have. But at the same time the rewards will get smaller. If you want to score big, you will ideally need to win a gamble of 51% success vs 49% failure.
This is something that every marketer has to figure out for him or herself. There is no guide to help you with this, only data, experience and your personal skills. Aim big, but don’t try to jump over your head when it’s clearly impossible.
What is management? My answer is it’s everything – communication, relationships with clients and team members, work/life balance, anticipation, insightfulness, resourcefulness, estimation and a hundred other things that you can add in the comments as a part of this list.
Proper management is the key to success to any given project. Most marketing managers struggle with this or that aspect of the management, but the thing is, nobody is a perfect manager.
The best advice on how to become a better version of yourself than you were yesterday, is continuously strive for it. They say if you truly, truly want something, there is nothing that stops you from achieving it.
While this saying has a fairytale-ish tone to it, there is some truth here. Actually, a considerable amount of truth. If you strive to perform, communicate, plan and execute everything better every day, then you are on the right track. And if you don’t, well, you better get on it. Today.
The list can be longer than those three points, but if you really think about, everything added up will fit in into one of those three. If you can overcome 2 out 3 of those challenges, your success will be inevitable.
Its simple math really, 66% chance always beats 33%.